aword from oneworld: May 2009

04 June 2009

Corfu, Funchal and Maldives to join oneworld network:  Three of the world's most popular holiday islands are lining up to join the network served by oneworld®, the leading quality global airline alliance, with Iberia Regional Air Nostrum launching flights to Corfu and Funchal in Europe and British Airways opening service to the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean.  The launches of these three new routes was announced as the alliance's airlines added Benghazi and Bergen to the oneworld map.

Iberia Regional will fly to Corfu (which has the three-letter IATA code CFU) from both Madrid and Barcelona from 26 July throughout the peak summer season, to 6 September.  From Madrid it will fly twice-weekly with a single weekly rotation from Barcelona.

It will serve Funchal (FNC) from both Bilbao and Valencia, with two round trips a week from both mainland gateways during the peak summer season, from 24 July to 6 September.

It is also opening routes from Valencia to both Dubrovnik and Marrakesh, and resuming services to Venice, all during the 24 July-6 September period.  It will serve Marrakesh also from Bilbao and Malta from Madrid with three flights a week also during the summer peak.  Dubrovnik, Malta and Marrakesh are already on the oneworld network.

British Airways will add the Maldives to the oneworld map from 25 October, with flights to its capital Male (which has the three-letter IATA airport code MLE) from London Gatwick with an initial three round trips a week.

BA will at the same time to resume services to Sharm El Sheikh, but the Egyptian Red Sea resort has remained on the oneworld map through services by Royal Jordanian. 

It will serve both destinations with three-class Boeing 777s.

Benghazi (BEN) has joined the oneworld network on 1 June as the alliance's second destination in Libya, with Royal Jordanian now serving the Mediterranean port with an initial two flights a week from its Amman hub.  RJ and British Airways both serve Libya's capital Tripoli.

Earlier, Finnair brought Bergen on-line as the alliance's third destination in Norway, with flights to the West Coast city from its Helsinki hub with five non-stops a week on a seasonal basis, until late September.

American now links its DFW hub with Iberia's Madrid home:  American Airlines has launched its new route between its Dallas/Fort Worth base and the Madrid hub of oneworld partner Iberia.  It is now linking the two gateways with two-class Boeing 767-300s non-stops daily - with the airline making clear that this will be the first of many new routes it will launch between the USA and Europe should its application for anti-trust immunity with Iberia and their fellow oneworld transatlantic partners be approved.

  • American Airlines has also added a third daily non-stop between Boston and London Heathrow and resumed its seasonal daily non-stops between the New England gateway and Paris CDG.

BA to launch Las Vegas flights and two new Caribbean routes:  British Airways is to open another US gateway, with service to Las Vegas from late October from its London Heathrow hub, flown by daily three-class Boeing 777s.  Las Vegas is already on the oneworld network through American Airlines.

The UK oneworld partner is also opening two more routes to the Caribbean, with flights from London Gatwick to both Montego Bay (Jamaica) and Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) from 25 October.   It will also raise frequencies to a number of established destinations in the region.   Both Montego Bay and Punta Cana are already on the oneworld map through American Airlines and, in the case of Punta Cana, LAN also.

British Airways has resumed flights to Saudi Arabia, with five services a week from its London Heathrow hub to both Jeddah and Riyadh.  It is now serving Riyadh with Boeing 777s, and Jeddah with 767s.  BA suspended operations to Saudi Arabia in March 2005 because of the poor commercial performance of its flights, but the country has remained on the oneworld network through flights by other member airlines.  Royal Jordanian serves both Jeddah and Riyadh along with Dammam with Riyadh also receiving Cathay Pacific flights.

American Eagle to open second Roswell route:  American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, is opening a second route to Roswell, from Los Angeles with four Embraer ERJ140 non-stops a week from 25 August.   The airline recently brought the New Mexico city onto the oneworld network with three daily round trips from its Dallas/Fort Worth hub. 

BA opens new lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3:  British Airways has opened its new Galleries Lounge for Business Class (Club) passengers departing from London Heathrow Terminal 3.  The airline's flights to Barcelona, Helsinki, Madrid, Malaga, Lisbon and Vienna now operate from Terminal 3, as part of oneworld's co-location at the airport.  Earlier this year, Finnair and Iberia also moved their operations at London Heathrow into Terminal 3, where American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian were already based.

The new BA facility there, in the terminal's lounge zone F, is available to Business Class (Club) passengers departing on the airline's flights from the terminal and Emerald or Sapphire tier frequent flyers from any oneworld airline departing on any oneworld airline flight from Terminal 3.

With seats for 300 people and furnishings by Osborne & Little, it features free wi-fi, work and entertainment zones, a bar, coffee house, deli, and a dedicated "kidzone" for younger passengers.

British Airways will open a lounge for First Class passengers at Terminal 3, along with a spa, when its flights to Sydney, Bangkok and Singapore transfer from Terminal 4 later this year, along with all Qantas' operations.

American's first US major to let customers take one-way redemption flights:  American Airlines has introduced new ways for members of its AAdvantage frequent flyer programme to redeem awards - by enabling them for the first time to use awards for one-way trips, at half the regular return redemption rate.  It is also offering them the chance to make round-trips using a combination of one-way award tickets.

This means they can combine MileSAAver awards with AAnytime awards, or Economy Class awards with First or Business Class awards, to customise award travel to best meet their needs. 

American is the first major US domestic airline to offer a one-way award ticket at a true one-way price at just one-half the amount of the required round-trip miles. 

oneworld Charging Stations power up in Milan Malpensa:  oneworld Charging Stations have been installed at Milan Malpensa - enabling travelers to charge up for free their laptop computers, mobile phones, iPods and other mobile items, thanks to oneworld.  The charging stations first appeared in September in Amsterdam and Brussels airports.  A total of 14 are now positioned throughout Milan Malpensa, where they will stay for at least the year ahead.  Branded with the logo of the alliance and its member airlines, they come with a range of international power sockets, enabling travelers to plug in their equipment for a power top-up before their board their flights.

American no longer accepts cash in-flight on North American mainline routes:  American Airlines no longer accepts cash for payments on its mainline flights within the continental United States, or to and from Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada. Passengers will need to use credit or debit cards to pay for in-flight purchases such as headsets, fresh meals, snacks and alcoholic beverages.  Its affiliates American Eagle and AmericanConnection will continue to accept cash payments.

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair now let all passengers ‘manage their bookings':  Cathay Pacific and its Dragonair sister airline, which is also part of oneworld, have now extended access to their "Manage My Booking" on-line functions to all passengers, giving them more control over their own travel itineraries.   Until now, this has only been available to members of its Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles loyalty schemes.  "Manage My Booking", accessed through the airlines' websites, enables passengers to retrieve their most up-to-date flight status and edit their personal information, for their bookings on Cathay Pacific and Dragonair and for sectors on any other airlines booked via Cathay Pacific or Dragonair.

LAN completes roll out of its new longhaul cabins:  LAN has completed the implementation of its new Premium Business and renewed Economy Class on all aircraft operating throughout its longhaul network - to North America, Mexico and the Caribbean, Europe, South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia - in an investment worth US$120 million.

Its Premium Business is equipped with seats that recline into 180° fully flat beds, with panels to provide increased privacy.  Passengers are provided with down comforters and soft pillows.

Its Economy cabins have also been completely refurnished to provide a more enjoyable flight experience, with seats providing increased recline and larger individual high resolution and wide-screen video monitors with on-demand entertainment from a choice of 44 movies, 95 TV programmes, 550 music CDs and 14 video games.  In both cabins, LAN offers a state-of-the-art entertainment system that only a select group of airlines in the world provide.

American rolls out first of four aircraft decorated in oneworld livery:  American Airlines is the latest oneworld member airline to roll out an aircraft decorated in the new alliance livery.  It is one of four aircraft in the airline's fleet to feature the oneworld look.  They will all retain American's distinctive polished metal fuselage, but with "oneworld" painted in letters more than 6 ft (2 metres) high and the oneworld logo along both sides, with the "American Airlines" name in smaller text below.  Its tailfin features the regular American design.

The livery was unveiled to mark the alliance's 10th birthday in early February.  Every airline in the alliance is decorating a proportion of its fleet in the look.  A number of member airlines already have aircraft flying in the design - British Airways and Qantas both Boeing 747-400s, Cathay Pacific an Airbus A330, Japan Airlines a Boeing 767 and Royal Jordanian an A319.

Across all oneworld airlines, around 40 aircraft will carry the alliance design, as a symbol of their commitment to build on the alliance's success to date and improve the added value delivered to customers.

Pictures of the AA 777 in its oneworld livery can be viewed at

oneworld Travel Stations win another top award:  oneworld's Travel Stations have won another top award - this time a Silver Winner for Best Use of Technology from the US magazine Event Marketer, to go with the Innovation Award won in October from the Netherlands' Reisrevue travel trade magazine.  The highly engaging, interactive installations, geared at the smartphone and iPod generation, were positioned last year at Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa and have been installed now also at New York JFK and Stockholm Arlanda.

BA and Qantas win more awards:  More awards have been won by oneworld member airlines, this time from the UK Daily Telegraph's Ultratravel magazine.  British Airways was named Best First Class, Best Business Class and Best Shorthaul Airline, while Qantas was honoured as Best Longhaul Airline and was runner up as Best Business Class and overall Best Airline.

About oneworld:  oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.  Mexicana and its affiliate Click Mexicana will join the alliance in 2009 and Russia's S7 Airlines in 2010.

Between them, these airlines:

  • Serve almost 750 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 8.500 daily departures.
  • Offer nearly 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
  • Carry some 330 million passengers a year.
  • Employ 300.000 people.
  • Operate almost 2.500 aircraft.
  • Generate some US$100 billion annual revenues in total.

It is the only alliance with any airlines based in Australia, South America or Asia's Middle East.

The alliance enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own.  These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges.   oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.

oneworld was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the sixth year running in the latest (2008) World Travel Awards.   It is the only winner of this award since it was introduced in 2003.